Friday, July 22, 2011

Birth Of Customized Promotional Items & Branding

David Ogilvy
This is David Ogilvy's Centennial--he was born 100 years ago, in 1911. Ok, so who is David Ogilvy? He was the most famous advertising man in the world, & to a large extent still is (he died in 1999). He was the most important man in the business, changing it in fundamental ways.

In 1955--56 years ago--he delivered a speech to the American Assoc of Advertising Agencies in Chicago where he injected the concept of brand imaging into the marketing world. Brand & brand image are so common in our conversation today that it's hard to remember when they were not with us. With that one speech, he turned the advertising world upside down & marketing was on it's way to becoming what it is today.

"I didn't invent brand image. I pitched it," claimed Ogilvy. He took the idea from an article in the Harvard Business Review & put it into his own sweeping terms. "Every advertisement is part of the long term investment in the personality of the brand, the personality of the company."

He defined branding as we know it today, "Brand image is the personality of your company--a combination of the product, packaging, price & it's advertising style. It's a coherent message you must stick to year after year."

Ogilvy was a genius when it came to marketing & advertising; yet he had no formal training in the field. He was a good salesman & found his niche after being kicked out of Oxford in England & working as a dishwasher in France. He went on to sell stoves door-to-door to nuns, drunkards & everyone in between. When he emigrated to the U.S. he lived among the Amish & worked as a farmer in PA. This was not for him, so at 38, he borrowed money from his brother & started his own advertising agency.

Some of his famous ad campaigns that are still considered to be the best, even by today's standards:

  • In 1951, a small shirtmaker, C. F. Hathaway, asked Ogilvy for help. He created the image of a man with the black eye patch & "The Man In The Hathaway Shirt" campaign was born. This creative campaign ran for 25 years.
  •  For Schweppes, Ogilvy persuaded the client, Commander Whitehead, to appear in his own advertisements. This campaign featuring the distinguished looking, bearded Brit in various ads & commercials ran for 18 years.
  • For Rolls-Royce, Ogilvy used the headline: "At 60 Miles An Hour The Loudest Noise In This Rolls-Royce Comes From The Electric Clock." This remains the most famous automobile advertisement of all time.
  •  And remember Lifesaver's "The Candy With The Hole"......guess who?
The concept of brand image was not entirely new in advertising circles, but after putting the spotlight on it, Ogilvy was dubbed the "apostle of the brand image". Brands took on greater importance as products became increasingly similar & competition rose. Today branding is an absolute must in all forms of advertising including customized promotional items. 

Do you know when the first promotional custom product was distributed? It was at George Washington's inauguration in 1789. Commemorative buttons were handed out.

Then in 1891, The Wrigley Company took advertising to new heights. At that time they sold soap & baking powder. To get an edge on their competition, Wrigley included a promotional imprinted product in each package. Can you guess what the give-away was? That's right......chewing gum with their name on the wrapper.

Original Package of Juicy Fruit
The gum that was included in every package of baking soda was more popular than the product it was designed to promote. A year later, William Wrigley Jr introduced a new gum called Juicy Fruit. And so began the world's most popular & successful chewing gum business. Now that's a 5 billion dollar history lesson in promotions & marketing.

There's no way you can now give out the first customized promotional item nor will you reach the level of success that The Wrigley Company did; but you can still be successful in distributing promotional products with your logo on them. If you do nothing, you are missing out on an efficient & economical way to gain company recognition.

Promotional items  should be part of your brand. If David Ogilvy was still alive, I'm sure he'd agree.
Ronni Sherman

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Spend Less & Gain More With Promotional Custom Products

Using as an example, a Volkswagon dealership promoting their line of economical, gas-saving vehicles......which one of these forms of advertising will make the most impact & give them the biggest bang for their advertising buck? A 60 second advertisement on TV interrupting your favorite show? A color 1/4 page ad in a magazine you're flipping through? Their name & logo on the pen you're writing with now? Most people might think the ad on TV, but read on before you answer the question.

People process advertisements that they have seen or heard on television or radio in 30 seconds. For this reason it is pointless for a company to just place one ad on television. This type of media advertising requires long term strategy & investment in several slots throughout peak periods for it to be successful. Naturally this also means spending lots of money & although it is clear that TV & radio advertising is effective for many companies, the cost per sale is enormous in comparison to other marketing methods. That cost is added to the product or service & the consumer pays.

How many of you actually sit & watch the advertisements shown on TV? Think about it......isn't that the time to get up & run to the kitchen for a snack or a drink or do another quick errand that will get you back in front of the set just in time for the show to begin again. A large percentage of programs are now recorded & can be watched with no advertising. That's not exactly getting your money's worth.

Newspaper & magazine advertising is effective provided the reader actually sees the advertisement. To be noticed, an ad should be placed on the front or back page or the top right hand corner. That's very expensive & very few companies can afford it. There is a huge chance the reader will skip a page littered with advertising or merely not bother to look at something that's of little interest to them. Again, one advertisement is useless & long term strategy needs to be applied for a marketing campaign to be successful.

A study was done where readers of a magazine had no recall of the advertisements in the issue. If they could remember the company advertising, most could not remember any details from the ad, itself.

If you really want to leave your mark on the consumer without spending a fortune, you should seriously consider promotional imprinted products as your long term strategy; because the items you give will remain in the possession of the recipient for a very long time--an average of eight months.

A study by A.C. Nielsen Co., found that six months after receiving customized promotional items, 42% of the recipients could recall the name of the advertiser on the product when it wasn't in view. A survey with impressive results showed that 75% of people who had promotional products in their possession could recall the advertiser's name without looking at the article.

There are thousands of promotional custom products on the market which are proven to retain the loyalty of existing customers & attract new ones. Imprinting your name on pens & markers, notepads & sticky notes, ceramic mugs, memory drives, mouse pads, hand sanitizers & lanyards are just a few of the options available to you. All of these items are used frequently & for as long as they are utilized, your name will be seen & remembered.
Promotional clothing such as fleeces, t-shirts, jackets & baseball caps, together with imprinted bags & totes are great for allowing your logo & name to "walk around". Saying "thank you" with these types of items will truly impress your customers & you don't have to pay them to take your advertising everywhere they go.  Chances are they're going where you're not--how's that for great coverage!

Spend less & gain more with the use of promotional imprinted products.
Ronni Sherman

Monday, July 11, 2011

Health Care Products As Customized Promotional Items

Health & beauty products are used by everyone; not just those in the medical, pharmaceutical or personal care professions. Health care products are utilized regularly in treating minor ailments & in preventative care, so it's only natural to distribute these items with your company name & logo on them. They become the ideal promotional imprinted product because they will be appreciated & used by everyone.

Here is a list of 8 best selling personal care products that can help you spread your company identity when you use these as customized promotional items:
  • HAND SANITIZERS: help in cleaning hands quickly & stop the spreading  of germs. They come in bottles of all sizes that are handy & portable. They are also available in a spray or roll-on tube.
  •  SUN SCREEN LOTIONS: containing Aloe Vera, Vitamin E along with SPF 15, 30 or 45. This will be a popular & often used item as we head into these sun-filled months.
  •  LIP BALMS: are needed to protect lips from dryness & from the sun. They also come with Aloe Vera, Vitamin E & SPF 15.
  • FIRST-AID KITS: come in a variety of sizes & can fit in the car console, gym bag, purse or desk drawer. You never know when there will be a sudden emergency so these are much needed items to have around just for those unexpected occurrences.
  • BAND-AID HOLDERS: come with a supply of bandages & are refillable. How many times have you needed a bandaid & you were someplace where you couldn't get to one? A paper cut in the office, a skinned knee at the park or some other minor mishap......your customer will appreciate this small, compact holder that can be taken everywhere.
  • STRESS RELIEVERS: make managing stress easy no matter where your client might be. They come in all shapes, so you can find one to fit your business.
  • PEDOMETERS: promote the importance of fitness. These help people keep track of the miles they've covered & some even record the calories & heart rate.
  • HAND MASSAGERS: another way to relieve stress is with these massagers. They come in a variety of shapes & can be found in brightly colored plastics or sturdy wood.
Using these items as promotional custom products can help you get  your company noticed effectively. You're showing more than just your advertising're showing you care & that's a big plus when it comes to business.

Have a healthy & safe summer.
Ronni Sherman